CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Exhaust in the cabin

I have a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 169,000 miles on it. I’m getting sick inside my car. My first thought was that I have a oil leak and the fumes were giving me a headache and nausea. After speaking for my father, he said it was a exhaust leak. I took the Jeep to a local repair shop and after repairing the other problems I listed the fumes were still present. The mechanic, which verified the fumes, said the fumes were coming in through the lift gate seal and I need to replace the seal. The exhaust checked out with no problems. I don’t allow my kids in the car and I dread driving it after breathing fresh air as I’m out and about running errands. Is he correct? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Is the lift gate rattling as you drive? If the lift gate were worn enough to allow exhaust fumes into the vehicle I’d think the gate wouldn’t shut very tightly, and might rattle a bit.

The rear of the vehicle, however, is often where exhaust fumes enter. If a new seal will solve the problem it would be worth it.

Breathing exhaust fumes is extremely hazardous. You should fix this.

Close the hatch, tape it shut really well with blue painter’s tape, and drive around for a while. If you don’t get fumes then, I’d say it’s the seal.

Fantastic idea to verify the seal! It doesn’t get any easier or cheaper than that. Hopefully, they realize why you suggested the painter’s tape- good adhesion, not too aggressive of an adhesive and no residue upon removal.